Human Nature is the 8th biennial youth art exhibition organized by the CAMH's Teen Council. Drawing from an open call, the Teen Council received over 300 submissions responding to the questions: Is there a universal human experience? In order to explore human nature, must we examine our base animal instincts? Or does that which makes us human originate from a higher order?
Says Jamal Cyrus, Education Associate at CAMH, "From ideas about the material connection between mankind and nature to those of body image, consumerism, and social control, the artists featured in Perspectives 181: Human Nature take aim at the show’s theme from a variety of perspectives and stances.”
Photography figures prominently in this year’s exhibition. Clinton Elliott’s Untitled is a series of ten 5 x 7 inch photographs of portraits of people. In each of the photographs, however, the subject’s face has been obscured with objects ranging from banana peels to fruit loops and Christmas decorations. Cory Jo’s black-and-white image Truth shows a young racer, completely covered in racing jumpsuit and helmet, reading the obituaries. Many of the artists fuse human and nature together such as in Ashley Lawhorn’s Redwoods digital photograph that shows a female figure with the head of a blue jay wearing a dress and leaning against a redwood tree. Zoie Brown’s sculpture Treefingers depicts human fingers growing out of tree branches.
Human Nature is a meditation on human nature—its appearance and character—from the perspective of those who will shape the next iteration of humanity. The exhibition reminds us that where there is dark, there is also light, and it is this dualism that makes us human.
Human Nature features work by: Lynne Addison, Ronan Allencherril, Alex Ambriz, Ashlin Arnold, Adriel Barrios-Anderson,Daisy Betancourt, Kate Bomar, Chantal Bondoc, Rachel Bride, Zoie Brown, Emily Camp, Evelyn Cauley, Kassi Choate, Evan Coleman, Brittany Keil Craig, Glenn Grace Davis, Claire Dorfman, Stacie Dudley, Adam Elkhadem, Clinton Elliot, Felisha Falcon, Andrew Flanders, Melinda Flores, Hazel Fricke, Christiana Garcia, Kathy Hernandez, Kendall Hertenberger, Will Insul, Miranda Jankovic, Cory Jo Martin, James Kerley, Ashley Lawhorn, Chiang Leong, David Loera, Javier Mata, Katie Miller, Madison Morgan-Rawlings, Eva Nip, Alyssa Oliver, Caitlin Rhoades, Christina Rodriguez, Patricia Rodriguez, Karla Serrato, Judy Solomos, Dana Suleymanova, Morgan Tao, Sidney Tennant, Kameron White, Colin Yeates, Patrick Zapien.
Perspectives 181: Human Nature is organized by the Museum's Teen Council and guest juror Rachel Cook, Assistant Curator, DiverseWorks, Houston.
ABOUT CAMH’S TEEN COUNCIL
The CAMH Teen Council is a group of motivated young people (ages 15-19) employed by the Museum, who are committed to bringing the art of their time to their peers. They meet regularly to explore the arts and create youth-oriented programming and events. Every other year, the Teen Council organizes a Perspectives exhibition in the Zilkha Gallery featuring new work by young, Houston area artists. The Teen Council selects the theme, title, and guest juror, and helps with the design, installation, printed exhibition catalogue, and programming.
ABOUT EXHIBITION JUROR
Rachel Cook is a curator and writer. Recent curatorial projects include Undetectable (Visual AIDS, La Mama Galleria, NYC), Not-Not-Not Images-Objects (Meulensteen Gallery, NYC), and Three Evidentiary Claims (CCS Bard, Annandale-on-Hudson). She has previously worked for dOCUMENTA (13)'s publication team and most recently as a summer fellow for the International Studio & Curatorial Program in New York. Cook is a Houston native and HSPVA graduate. She holds a MA from the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College and a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. Currently, she is the Assistant Curator at DiverseWorks.